Pugging – That which keeps WoW Flurishing

So I have been thinking about this post for several weeks now.  Every time I start it I trash everything and start over.

This topic is one of those subjects that I argue about with Lissanna and other people in my guild.  My opinion which is summed up by the title is one that I have come to over the past few months.  Because of it I am concerned about the guild changes coming in Cataclysm since Blizzard has stated that they do not plan to implement guild alliances.

There is a whole large ball of wax or an 800lbs Gorilla standing in the corner, depending upon your preferred imagery.  The issue resolves around one of the worst mechanics placed in the game.  That mechanic I am referring to is the RaidID system.  When the system was implemented we had large monolithic guilds that were running 40 man content.  Those days are over.  The Raid ID system however has not adapted.

The problem with Guilds, RaidIDs, HeroicIDs as they are is these are all things that divide us into segments rather than being a way to bring groups together.

Lets use real life gamers for example, I will dig into my past from several years ago.

I moved from one town to another when relocating for a job.

In my previous town I was in the following.

  • Table Top group 1 for D&D (TT1)
  • LARP group Camarilla for Larping (CAM1)
  • Table Top group 2 for White Wolf games. (TT2)

While in my current town initially I was in something like the following.

  • Table Top group 3 for D&D (TT3)
  • LARP group troupe Vampire (LARP1)
  • Table Top group 4 for misc games (TT4)
  • Started Local Camarilla group (CAM2)
  • College Gaming Group (CGG1)

Now the only thing preventing me from playing in any game was the size of the game/group and if there was a time conflict.  If for some reason TT1 and TT3 were running the same stuff I could do so.  The only restriction in the RPGA or at least use to be, any character could run any module once.  This was an artificial limit which sometimes sucked if you had already run all of the current modules you were in level for on a game day.

So what I am saying is that the model of: 1 Character | 1 Guild | 1 Raid ID is a bit limiting and was not a problem in current content because there was no risk/reward for being in one guild and raiding with a different.

With the guild leveling system this will no longer be true.  This will encourage the old monolithic guilds of the past not to mention making scheduling a nightmare again.

Some not so simple solutions.

One of the most contentious points that I argue with Lissanna is the RaidID limit.  I find it a stupid Nanny fix to prevent those that have no self control from just burning through content and themselves out.

As far as Raid ID go there needs to be some middle ground between the database concept of (1 to many) and (1 to 1).  We currently have a (1 to 1) relationship for Raid IDs per instance.  A better rule may be 1 character may have up to X where X is 2-3 Raid IDs per instance.  Then if they have friend in multiple groups they can run with each group as long as there is not a time conflict.  Does this mean that the same group could also run the same thing 2-3 times which would be the case in certain guilds, ya but oh well.  I do not nor will I ever care about world/server firsts.  The main reason is because they are a joke.  If some guild is on the PTR running the instance for weeks and learns the fights there how in the hell is that even a reasonable run for world first.  The true world first kills should only occur on the PTR for any boss available there.  Only the Algalon or the achievements of the guilds players that do not have access to the PTR should really be considered for world firsts for normal boss kills.

Another solution would be to allow characters to belong to multiple guilds, they either can choose the guild benefit set they receive while soloing and get the bonus from the predominate guild in the group they are in if they belong to that guild.

Another solution would be to move guilds from the character to account level.  Again this would really require a 1 player to many guild relationship which we only have now on a by character basis.  A more rounded method would be to have the player join a guild and that guild can see all characters on that server and faction in their listing.  You would then on the character sheet to select the guild tag you show from the list of those available to you.

Bottomline

To wrap this up one of the statements a friend made concerning EQ versus WoW.  The only reason they stay with WoW over EQ is in EQ you have to be in a guild to get anything end game done.  In WoW as the content is now with the guild set up we have now you can PuG almost anything and succeed to some extent.  I think this is another reason we saw such an exodus during the middle of TBC.  The content just was not PuGable until near the end when the badge system finally started to reward something worthwhile.

***** Edited to correct typos, this will happen a few more times. *****

I need to stop just publishing posts when I am done.

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